Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An open letter to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Dear Mr. Kennedy;
I was concerned with the tone of your recent article on The Huffington Post. I speak as the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, and I also speak as a teacher. Frankly, your writing was inflammatory and biased. Here is my professional assessment.
You chose to use dramatic vocabulary such as "brain-killing poison" rather than defining such chemicals or citing actual resources and studies. You referred vaguely to "patronizing" and "poisonous" attacks on a specific group of people (mothers of autistic children who espouse a particular viewpoint), but you did not support your point of view with details or examples. Leaning on your own personal experiences, no matter how extensive those conversations, emails, and letters, does not prove a particular side or argument correct.
By describing Katie Wright and her group as "calm, grounded, and extraordinarily patient....highly educated..." you managed to imply that parents who disagree must be otherwise. By claiming that "...a rational person might do some more investigation", you again imply that those who disagree must be irrational and have not done their homework.
The only source you quote is your own personal web site. Where are the "hundreds of research studies from dozens of countries..." to which you allude? Where are the links to the other research, that which you call"flimsy" and "borderline fraud," part of the "...campaign of obfuscation and public deception"?
The piece is, quite simply, poorly written. It is laden with assumptions, name-calling, and emotionally charged words. It is missing research, references, and "dispassionate and diligent investigation" of its own.
Grade? D minus. Mr. Kennedy, in order to be convincing, even opinion needs to be backed up with facts.
Sincerely,
Daisy

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8 Comments:

Blogger Morning Glory said...

This has nothing to do with your letter to RFK, Jr., (which is very interesting), but I wanted to come by and say thank you for visiting and commenting at my blog a couple days ago. You're welcome back any time.

6/20/2007 3:49 PM  
Blogger Club 166 said...

Excellent letter, Daisy.

Joe

6/20/2007 4:23 PM  
Blogger kristina said...

The teacher has spoken! (And very cogently, and powerfully.)

6/20/2007 8:54 PM  
Blogger One Wacky Mom said...

Like your blog....I'm tagging you in a meme this morning. We gotta get to know one another...like how you think.

6/21/2007 6:44 AM  
Blogger Scribbit said...

Go get him. Maybe I missed it but why on earth is he writing that article? Is there some connection I'm missing? I didn't think he was an "expert" in the field.

6/21/2007 8:24 PM  
Blogger VenturaMom said...

RFK Jr. is in fact an expert in environmental law, serving as a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. RE: the referenced article available on his site (about the CDC cover-up), it was originally published on Salon.com June 16, 2005. He has also published a research paper on Thimerosal which is available at robertfkennedyjr.com

6/23/2007 1:14 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I don't understand your beef, are you pro Thimerosal? I don't think he was bashing other mother's I think he was bashing Big Pharm and there unwillingness to fully disclose information that might lead to a fuller undertanding of the facts. There is nothing in his piece against other mothers! I think you should read it again with a cooler head.

6/23/2007 8:30 AM  
Blogger RFKJr. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/15/2007 8:51 PM  

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